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Rangers hat-trick heroes sink Celtic in Glasgow Cup

Celtic FC 1

Sparkes 27

Rangers FC 6

McGinty 23, 24, 74, Yates 43, 70, 78
  • Wednesday, 15 February 2017
  • Lennoxtown
  • Under 16´s
  • City of Glasgow Cup

Simon Ritchie | YFS West Region Reporter
Articles by Author | Contact Author

Rangers sauntered to heavy victory over arch-rivals Celtic at Lennoxtown Training Centre in the Glasgow Cup, coming out 6-1 winners on a wet Wednesday night.

After surviving a brief period of pressure from their hooped opponents, Rangers took control of the match and hat-tricks for Owen McGinty and Matt Yates meant there rivals never had a look in. Celtic’s consolation from Michael Sparkes had given them some semblance of hope at 2-1, but Rangers were far more clinical when it mattered.

The opening quarter of an hour suggested that the home side would have the better of the tie and that they had adapted to the uncomfortable conditions quicker than Rangers, and winger Owen Moffat was dazzling down the right. Jinking past defenders, cutting inside to play inch-perfect through balls and crosses, Moffat was the star of the show early on and had Sparkes and Paul Kennedy provided better finishes to his passes, Celtic may have got the early momentum.

Instead it was Rangers who found the breakthrough a quarter of the way through the game. Captain Cieran Dickson played a neat one-two with Murray Miller that left the Celtic defender forced to foul, and up stepped McGinty to hit a clever free-kick under the wall, deceiving Ryan Mullen in the Celtic goal and nestling in the back of the net.

As quickly as it was one, it was two. McGinty again the scorer but it was all about the pass from Kai Kennedy, allowing him to cut inside and find the target.

Rangers were playing with a speed and purpose that meant although Celtic had the majority of the possession, as soon as a player in blue picked it up he was looking for a forward pass, a ball over the top, a way to outfox the Celtic backline. And it was working.

However, there was no chance Moffat was going to let this game go without a fight. He had taken a few heavy knocks from Rangers players but was still willing to take them on, and beat them more often than not. So it proved just a few minutes after Rangers second as he worked his way into the box, and with the shot on, he smartly rolled the ball across goal for Sparkes to spark what they hoped would be a comeback.

Celtic were certainly reignited by the goal and when Moffat played in Scott Cusick they could almost taste the equaliser, but Lewis Buoinackus made an important stop at his near post.

The importance of the chance was underlined when, minutes before half-time, Yates ghosted in at the back post taking the defence completely unaware to knock home Dickson’s cross and restore the two goal lead.

  • Half Time:
  • Celtic FC
  • 1-3
  • Rangers FC

With their cushion in place, and perhaps having been given the confidence to go out and play football, Rangers seemed a completely different side in the second half. While in the first half they had been clinical with their chances while Celtic controlled possession, after the break they were the dominant force.

Kennedy was pulling the strings in the middle of the park, the heartbeat of the side. Tackling ferociously to win the ball in his own half, he’d pick out a forty yard pass in the next breath. He was helped by Miller who created chances for Yates and McGinty to add to their tally within ten minutes of the restart but the Celtic keeper held firm with two great stops.

It was all Rangers and a fourth looked imminent but a bit of slackness at the back gave Dean Quinn the chance to drag Celtic back into this cup tie once again, but the substitute was perhaps a bit rusty having just come on and couldn’t beat the keeper.

The fourth was indeed imminent and having survived the scare, Rangers duly scored it. With a free kick wide right of the Celtic penalty box, Rangers went all around the houses, passing back to the halfway line and then out to the left before an incisive pass to their own substitute Arron Bryson who, narrowly beating the offside trap, shot at Mullen. The keeper made a good initial save but could do nothing to prevent Yates knocking in the rebound.

With both Yates and McGinty on braces it was a race against time to see who could get the hat-trick. But first Rangers had to deal with Moffat again springing one of his forwards clear with a stunning through ball, but again Quinn couldn’t find the net. Immediately, Rangers counterattacked, with Yates and McGinty barrelling forward at pace and Yates slipping through his striker to get number five and complete his treble.

Yates’s unselfishness was rewarded however as he grabbed a hat-trick of his own in spectacular fashion. Wide on the left, he decided he’d been provider enough for one night and launched curling effort into the far top corner.

Unstoppable. That goes for both Yates’s drive and Rangers in the second half. A comfortable win in uncomfortable conditions, and some extremely bright signs for the futures of both clubs.

  • Full Time:
  • Celtic FC
  • 1-6
  • Rangers FC


Celtic FC
Rangers FC
1. Ryan Mullen
2. David McNair
3. Ewan Otoo
4. Christoper McQueen
5. Paul Kennedy
6. Dylan Forrest
7. Owen Moffat
8. Max McGregor
9. Michael Sparkes
10. Scott Cusick
11. Adam Montgomery
12. Vincent Angelini
14. Finn McRobb
15. Kyle Fleming
16. Dean Quinn
1. Lewis Buoinauckas
2. Kyle McLelland
3. Ryan Muir
4. Murray Miller
5. Ally Murned
6. Harry O'Conner
7. Matt Yates
8. Kai Kennedy
9. Owen McGinty
10. Cieran Dickson
11. Darren Watterson
14. Calum Bigger
15. Tom Henderson
16. Simon Miller
17. Arron Bryson
Star Player
Celtic FC
Rangers FC
Everything about Owen Moffat oozed absolute class for Celtic. They've definitely got a real talent on their hands here, from the way he danced around his marker, the quality of his passing, and his eye for a run, he's certainly one to watch. Even in the second half when Celtic were under the cosh he managed to find pockets of space to weave his magic.
Kai Kennedy ran the Rangers midfield from start to finish. He might not have scored a hat-trick but he was just as instrumental, if not more so, in the final result than the goalscorers. Confident on the ball, able to read the game off it, and willing to take charge and tell his teammates what needed to be done.
Magic Moment
Celtic FC
Rangers FC
The Celtic game goal was almost enough to spark a comeback and make this more of a contest, and it was a fantastic goal. Moffat of course was at the heart of it and he showed great awareness and composure in the box to layoff his teammate Sparkes who was right where he needed to be.
There wasn't a bad goal in the bunch but the pick of the litter was number six. Cutting inside, Yates was confident enough, bold enough, to know he could pick out the top corner from 25 yards and pick it out he did. Fantastic effort.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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